yahoo pulls out of china over challenging environment - Yahoo pulls out of China over ‘challenging environment’

Yahoo says it will pull out of China, because of an “increasingly challenging business and legal environment”.

Its services will no longer be available from today, it said.

It is the second large US technology company to do so in recent weeks. Last month, Microsoft said it would shut down LinkedIn in China, and replace it with a more standard jobs board.

At that time, Microsoft gave a similar statement, pointing to a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China”. Microsoft itself still operates in the country.

Those American tech firms that do stay active in the country have faced repeated challenges over their work there.

Apple, for instance – which has considerable operations the country – has faced criticism over the ways that it navigates which apps and content are available in China.

In recent years, Google was rumoured to be working on what was called “Project Dragonfly”, which would bring a version of its search engine to China. But that was met with widespread criticism and the company eventually abandoned the plans – leaving its search product blocked in China and accessible only through a virtual private network.

Yahoo had already reduced its operations in China, meaning that the move is mostly symbolic. Its web portal is already blocked in the country, for instance, and in 2015 it closed its office in Beijing.